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Freedom

Freedom comes in many forms. There is the patriotic kind which can affect nations. There is the personal kind which alters lives.

There are also many meanings of the word, depending upon your perspective. There is seeming freedom which belong to royalty, who are bound by protocol. There is the freedom exercised by despots throughout the world, until they meet their end, usually a bad one.

Somehow, freedom has gotten confused some of the time with power, from personal  on up the line to the top of the political chain.

It is a well-known fact that Lord Acton stated: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely!” All you have to do is look at the current state of world affairs to see this truth clearly demonstrated.

Freedom has many connotations: “The state or quality of being free; esp., liberation from the control of some other person or some arbitrary power; liberty; independence;  immunity from a specified obligation; release from imprisonment; being able to act, move, use, etc. without hindrance or restraint; being able of itself to choose or determine action freely; ease of movement or performance.”

I remember a story of an election in Africa, where some women carried an old woman for days to the polling place so she could vote for the first time. It was that important. Yet I look around at all the politicizing going on already in the United States, with the spin doctors beginning their song, and I wonder how it all got turned around so badly. I personally do not want to hear another promise from any of them because they say whatever they think the people will want to hear on the campaign trail to get elected and then turn around and do as they please the rest of the time. It is a sad story, to be sure. I have the freedom to vote, which many people in this world do not have and will never see, yet I would like to have someone to vote for instead of against or the best option of two poor choices. The United States has many wonderful options for others to vote for — yet they do not step forward because they will not become involved in the political arena. It makes one wonder about that.

As one looks at all of the stories that come out of each and every country in this world, one sees similar stories playing out. There are the poor and disenfranchised, the person trying to make his/her daily bread however he/she can, the few at the top who enjoy enormous riches, and the rest are somewhere in between. Regardless of politics, there are the fathers and mothers everywhere who are loving their families and trying to survive. Each one may have their own definition of freedom, but we are not as different as political miscreants would have us believe.

Love is still a human quality that we all may share. Each morning, each of us, no matter where we are in the world, can commit to trying to make our little corner of the world a better place. Not all of us are meant to be Mother Theresa. But we can offer a smile to a sales clerk when we see someone else being rude to her for no ascertainable reason; we can pick up a piece of trash in the street and put it in a trash can; we can hold the door open for another, be it a man or woman; or many other ACTS OF RANDOM KINDNESS (ARK). Every single act you choose to do could multiply many times, as in the movie, “Pay It Forward!”

Personal freedom is the same as  LOVE, for  each one of us could help improve the conditions in our world. How are you choosing? Are you willing to help make a difference and change the world? It is in your power, you know, for it is based totally in your use of your choices.

Life unfolds for each of us very differently. Some of us choose poorly, and then watch as bad situations become even worse. Some of us choose to ignore the fact that we can change, so they sit and whine about their conditions while they do nothing to change that. We all know somebody like that. Some are putting forth super efforts to make global changes while they ignore their daily lives and small acts that could make a big difference. It all depends on how vested we are in living our lives the very best we can.

Freedom carries with it the idea of personal responsibility, as consequences of our choices make themselves manifest. One can be “free,” but I learned as a child that my freedom ends where somebody else’s nose begins. In lieu of being combative and controlling, one can choose to offer respect to everyone we meet. Friendliness opens doors that are shut by negative emotions like anger and fear. Our world would be a lot better off if everyone practiced these ideas. Utopian? Nope! Just putting into daily practice thoughts and ideas that can truly change our personal realities.

Freedom is a precious thing to be cherished in whatever way we deem appropriate. It is not to be taken for granted or used for deleterious reasons. It is not meant to be manipulated or controlled. It is a God-given right for every soul, no matter what the religious belief is. For too long, we have languished through a lack of understanding. WAKE UP! Become the person you were meant to be, no matter where you are in the world. Begin to make a difference. Reach out across the miles to other souls who are also doing that. Connect. Whatever you can do, begin it. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey.

ship - water - negativity Seagull in flight Kite

 

 

 

 

Death is Merely a Journey

Because I have personally experienced the loss of so many loved ones, I wanted to express some thoughts that have comforted me along the way.

It has been said that: “Death is merely another journey, one we all must take.”

Kahlil Gibran in “The Prophet” states: “For  life and death are one, even as the river and sea are one…For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.”

Mary Elizabeth Fry (11-13-1905 to 9-15-2004) wrote a poem:

Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep

“Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glint on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there. I did not die.”

It has been determined that, when a person dies, their weight decreases by one ounce immediately. Is this the weight of that person’s Spirit/Soul/Essence of Being? Interesting idea, to say the least.

Our Spirit is Us, undeniably. Apart from any religious beliefs, we are all the same. We, the living, forget that our Spirit is indestructible and is more than our bodies, which merely provide us with a place to live and learn while we are on this plane of existence.

John Denver sang about life as: “Just a gathering of memories and then we are gone.”

Hollywood does a good job of stating in pictures that the person who has made his/her transition is still here with us in our hearts as feelings and in our minds as memories.

Christians state: “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Perhaps they say: “We know that person is now with Jesus and is not in pain anymore.”

Other religions state it differently, but it is the same idea: That person’s Spirit has moved on, leaving only the shell behind.

Testimonies of people who have clinically died and been brought back have one thing in common: They saw Beautiful Beings and White Light, which was so peaceful. That idea comforts me.

Sometimes death comes in a tragic, unexpected way. That leaves dear ones dismayed by the suddenness of it all. Sometimes it comes to one who has lingered terribly long, so that death is a release from the agony.  Sometimes it comes calling when one least expects it.

Grief over the loss of a loved one can come in many forms: Anticipatory Grief when someone is lingering, Instant Grief when one leaves unexpectedly or a relationship ends. There are many books out there to aid the ones left behind.

Death is, indeed, a part of life. It is a journey we all must take at some time or another. The weird thing is that one does not contemplate one’s own demise. It is as if we will go on forever. When we are reminded of how fickle the Grim Reaper can be, reminding us of our mortality, we usually shrug it off and move on down the road.

My question is this: How can you truly live if you don’t accept the inescapable fact that death is inevitable, sometime?

It is not morbid to contemplate it. It ultimately gives one the freedom to really live! Be in the NOW!

We can comfort others in their sorrow, knowing that they feel deprived of the presence of their loved one. We can have compassion for them during their grieving process. The normal grieving period is two years. It is that period of time when you think of that person, and it stops you in your tracks. Perhaps the tears flow as you miss that one so very much. Even though times goes by, your memory of that person is as fresh as yesterday when you think of them.

Very few people who are going about their daily lives ever really think that: ‘Today is the day when I will cease to be on this planet.” When you kiss a loved one good-bye, you do not know that will be the last time you see him/her.

I always make sure to tell the people in my life that I love them. When my husband and I part, there is always a kiss and a goodbye said. I am comforted that, come what may, I left on a happy note as would he.

Can you say the same about your loved ones? Or are you still fussing over the burned toast or a hasty word spoken in anger? You never have the assurance that will be the last thing spoken or done. Always be aware of it.

Life is a funny thing – it goes to the living. My question is: Are you living? Or are you just existing? Are you doing that which is best for you and your loved ones? It is always your choice in action.

No one who was caught in the 911 catastrophe knew that would be their last moments on earth, or even in plane, car, or train crashes. One woman became so afraid of flying that she took the train, which derailed. The only person who died was her.

Fear of death is an awesome thing and takes a terrible toll. Fear paralyzes one’s abilities such that inaction becomes the order of the day. Sad to say, but when Fear rules, that person loses so much life force and ability to function, which can never be recovered.

“Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” -Mark Twain

If “Life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one,” how can you go on ignoring the reality of it all?

Your choice is all you have to enable you to be 100 percent functional. Are you willing to use it wisely?

God’s blessings on your journey!

 

 

 

 

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